Fraudster tried to get a licence to produce medicinal cannabis

Friday 8th April 2022 5:17 am
Cannabis plants ()

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A fraudster has admitted using a fake passport and falsified bank statements to apply for a licence to produce medicinal cannabis on the island.

Craig Carroll told police he did it to cover up a serious assault charge in Scotland which would have made him ineligible for the licence.

The 40-year-old pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and two counts of making articles for use in frauds.

Magistrates deemed the case too serious for the summary court and committed Carroll to the Court of General Gaol Delivery for sentencing.

Prosecuting advocate James Robinson told the court that Carroll, who lives at Parliament Street in Ramsey, made the application through a company he owned.

Carroll submitted application forms and ID documents to the Gambling Supervision Commission on July 6 last year.

The handwriting on the forms was said to be all in one style, despite there being two named applicants.

Carroll supplied a copy of his passport which showed his date of birth as July 2, 1975.

However, his real date of birth is February 9, 1982.

Checks of the passport by the Gambling Supervision Commission found that it had been altered and was fraudulent.

Bank statements had also been provided by Carroll which showed a £2 million credit balance.

Carroll had attended the offices of the commission and signed various documents confirming that all the information he had supplied was correct.

The matter was referred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and warrants were executed at Carroll’s home.

He was arrested on September 7 and when interviewed, answered ‘no comment’ to all questions.

Further investigations confirmed that Carroll’s date of birth had been falsified and that details on his application had been deliberately misleading.

The CID obtained access to bank accounts at the Royal Bank of Scotland and it was confirmed that details had been altered on bank statements provided by Carroll.

He had also provided an address which he was not living at.

His date of birth was also shown as 1975 in records held at the Isle of Man Cabinet Office.

On January 31 this year, Carroll was interviewed by police again and this time handed in a prepared statement.

In it, he admitted he was guilty of submitting false documentation and had also signed documents on behalf of a female, who had no knowledge of it.

Carroll said he did it to cover up a serious assault charge in Scotland which would have meant he was not eligible for a licence.

Mr Robinson said that, had Carroll’s application been successful, it could have been fairly lucrative.

Carroll had submitted a comprehensive business plan in which he had shown an estimated turnover for a three-year period of £22 million.

Mr Robinson said that this was a unique case for the Isle of Man and was too serious for the summary court.

Defence advocate Sara-Jayne Dodge agreed that the case should go to the higher court for sentencing and asked for a probation report to be prepared before sentencing.

Ms Dodge said that a basis of plea may be submitted before the sentencing.

Carroll will appear at the Court of General Gaol Delivery on a date to be set.

Bail continues in the sum of £500 with conditions to live at his home address and not leave the island without court permission.